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Cart Placement

It’s important to set your carts out properly on your collection day, to ensure that they will be collected. Please refer to the set-out diagram printed on the side of your cart.

  • Place your cart at least 1 metre (3 feet) away from other carts, cars or other objects. Three metres (10 feet) of space is required between the top of the cart and overhead branches, wires, and so on.
    • Place carts at least 1.5 metres (5 feet) away from fire hydrants, to ensure visibility in the case of an emergency.
  • Place your cart on level ground, with the back wheels facing towards the house or driveway. A slight slope is okay as long as the carts are upright and steady.
    • If your slope is quite steep, for front street collection you can set your carts out on the street against the curb. For back alley collection, you can set your carts out on a less sloped grassy area next to your alley.
  • Make sure the lid is fully closed.
  • Place recycling in blue bags nearby, at least 1 metre (3 feet) away from your carts. Do not set out any extra bags or cans of garbage and food waste. Excess waste will not be collected. 

For alley collection, place carts close to the alley, and for front street or cul-de-sac collection, place carts on the street against the curb. 

Cart set out Photo

Alley Collection

Place carts close to the alley so the automated arm can reach them. 

  • For some homes, the end of your driveway will be the best place to set out your carts because of obstacles like fences or parked cars. This is also a convenient spot in the winter as no additional snow removal is required.
  • If your driveway has a steep slope, you can set your carts out on a less sloped grassy area next to your alley.
  • One (1) full metre of clearance behind the carts is preferred because this allows for quicker, safer and more efficient collection. In tight alleys where space is limited, ensure your cart is as close to the alley as possible. Safe collection of your cart is still possible as long as there is at least half a metre (1.5 feet) between the back of the cart and a fence, building or other obstruction.

Front Street Collection

  • Place carts on the street against the curb.
  • For some homes, the end of your driveway will be the best place to set out your carts because of obstacles like fences or parked cars. This is also a convenient spot in the winter as no additional snow removal is required.
  • If your driveway has a steep slope, you can set your carts out on the street against the curb.


  • Collection in cul-de-sacs can be challenging due to limited space. Collaboration is important to ensure that waste is easily accessible and safe for your collector to pick up. 
  • Ensure vehicles are parked either inside the garage or on your driveway on collection day, and that other obstacles like basketball hoops are moved off the street. 
  • If it is not possible for all residents to move their vehicles from the street on collection day, we recommend placing your carts on the street at the end of your driveway, past the sidewalk. The length of your driveway will give the waste collection truck the opportunity to weave around other obstacles to collect your carts. 

Maintaining Your Carts

Cart Repair and Replacement

Request maintenance for broken or damaged carts, report missing carts and request cart size exchanges online through our self-service form or by contacting 311.

Cleaning Your Carts

Cart cleanliness is the responsibility of the resident. If your carts need cleaning:

  • Rinse your cart with water and pour the contents on the grass or gravel, being careful the dirty water does not enter the storm drain.
  • Try mixing 1 part vinegar and 3 parts hot water to clean the surface and remove odours.
  • In winter, be careful not to empty water onto driveways, sidewalks or walkways, as it could freeze and create hazardous conditions.
  • If material gets stuck inside the cart, use a broom or shovel handle to loosen it.
  • Use BPI/BNQ certified compostable bags to line your cart and help prevent messes. These bags may break down and liquids may seep through, so do your best to decrease the moisture of your food scraps.

Prevent material from getting stuck or frozen inside your food scraps cart in the winter.

  • Make food scraps less wet by straining out liquids from soups or sauces before placing them in the cart.
  • Try wrapping wet material in paper to help stop it freezing to the cart.
  • Pre-freeze food scraps in smaller quantities before putting them into your cart. They’ll slide out more easily when your collector empties the cart.
  • Store your food scraps cart outdoors instead of indoors between collections to stop material from thawing and refreezing inside.

Storing Your Carts

Carts can be stored against your fence, garage, home or even inside your garage when not in use. On your collection day, they must be set out by 7am.

Food Scraps Cart

Consider storing your food scraps cart in an easy-to-access location outside on your property. This will make it easier for you to empty your food scraps pail into the cart as soon as it’s full. During warm weather, store your food scraps cart in your garage or another shady spot to help reduce odour.

Garbage Cart

The garbage cart can be stored with the food scraps cart, or in a different location since it will be put out for collection every 2 weeks and easy access is not as important. If possible, both carts should be stored in a shady area, to help with odour control.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I change my cart size?

There is only one size (120L) of food scraps cart available but residents can choose their garbage cart size. Options include a default large (240L) garbage cart and a small (120L) garbage cart. Learn more about garbage cart size options here. We encourage everyone to try out their carts first and get used to sorting before applying for the cart exchange.

Waste Services account holders may request a garbage cart exchange beginning April 6, 2021 or after they have received their carts, whichever is later. The first exchange will be free, and an administration fee of $18.50 will apply to all subsequent exchanges. 

Account holders are responsible for all waste utility rate(s) and fees associated with the carts.

Will my collection day and time change?

Some residents may change to a new collection day and others will remain on the same one. If your collection day is changing, it will be reflected in the collection calendar you received with your cart.

All collection routes will be changing so your garbage collector may come at a new time. Please set out your waste by 7am on your scheduled collection day to ensure it is collected.

  • Food scraps cart  - picked up weekly from spring to fall and every 2 weeks in the winter
  • Garbage cart - picked up every 2 weeks
  • Yard waste - picked up seasonally, with 2 collections in the spring and 2 collections in the fall
  • Recycling - collected weekly all year round
What if I set out extra bags or use the wrong container?

The City will only collect garbage and food scraps set out in the carts provided by the City, on the specific collection days marked on the collection calendar.

  • If residents set out extra bags or their own garbage cans, they will not be collected
  • If residents set out a garbage cart on a food scraps cart collection day or vice versa, it will not be collected
  • Residents can set out unlimited blue recycling bags on their recycling collection day
  • Residents can set out unlimited yard waste on the seasonal yard waste collection days marked on their collection calendar
Can I use my own cart?

The City will provide carts in the Council-approved size, designed for use with the City’s automated collection vehicles. The City will not collect any carts that were not provided by the City.

Can I still use my garbage stand/enclosure?

Carts cannot be collected from garbage stands or enclosures, and most garbage stands are too small to fit carts for storage. 

If your carts fit, you are welcome to store them inside a garbage enclosure or on a stand when they are not in use, but for collection, carts need to be on level ground, not on a platform, garbage stand or on sloped ground.

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